Thursday, February 22, 2018

How to Pray Without Ceasing--The Simple, Easy Way

By Richard Kent Matthews - Coach | Author | Speaker

Can you really pray without ceasing? Seems like a lot of knee work!

"Anything which today seems supernatural, once it is rightly understood, becomes totally natural." Ernest Holmes

Like most of us here in America who are over the age of 40, I grew up in a house of prayer. It was the kind of prayer that seemed to always be begging and pleading. O! Give me this; o! give me that, I’d hear my mother or aunts or church people moan. Rarely did I hear gratitude or real joy coming from all those lips.

As I grew older, I stopped praying altogether. I mean, after all, I had rarely seen any real answers, only ‘Well, I guess it’s God’s will’ every time the disappointment set in. No more money than yesterday. No new car today.

One day, I discovered something radical.

I was contemplating what the heck St. Paul meant when he admonished his readers and listeners to ‘pray without ceasing.’ I’d heard that passage many times over the years but was never satisfied with the explanations—from parents, priests, pastors—no one.

But this time it was different. Paul wasn’t talking about being continually on one’s knees, crying out for help or mercy. He was directing his people to walk in a constant state of grace, that is, gratitude. To be continually in ‘spirit space,’ as I call it. To live like prayer is a relationship, not a demand.

Prayer is not pleading; prayer is not begging; prayer is not hoping. True prayer is action oriented. True prayer is trust. Paraphrasing Unity luminary Eric Butterworth, when you come to completely trust your Source, you’ll never need to pray—in the traditional sense—again. Rev. Butterworth lets us know that all’s well, regardless of appearances. So, here are some power ways to pray:

“There is an inherent law of mind that we increase whatever we praise. . . We can praise our own abilities and the very brain cells will expand and increase in capacity and intelligence when we speak words of encouragement and appreciation to them.”
Charles Fillmore, co-founder of Unity

“When answers to prayer appear in orderly and unspectacular ways, your skeptical friends will tell you it is just coincidence.”
Harry Morgan Moses

 “Practical prayer is harder on the soles of your shoes than on the knees of your trousers.”
Anstin O’Malley

It really is simple…and clear. Prayer is a walk, not a talk. It’s the continual practice of gratitude, compassion, and service.

Finally, to understand that we live in a blessed and magnificent universe, that no matter the appearances, all is well, is to pray without ceasing.

Simple, easy, and powerful!

Your comments are always welcome. And don't forget to subscribe to this blog today!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Inner Words: What You Say to Yourself Matters...Big Time!

By Richard Kent Matthews - Coach | Author | Speaker

Spotting Your Naysayers (Y'know, the negative voices...)

July 9, 1969…

Next year, we’ll celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. Of course, all the TV and internet sources will run the famous video of Neil Armstrong stepping off the Lunar Module. I watched it live back in 1969 with a group of friends. We were like kids, yelping and whooping it up, even crying a little when Armstrong uttered “One small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.” What an achievement that was. For a brief time, the world seemed united.

In the 1930s it was considered both illogical and impossible for humans to go to the moon. We couldn’t fight gravity; we’d be crushed in space; no materials to protect us from radiation. The negative list was extensive. But, in spite of the naysayers, we did the impossible. After the fact, it turned out to be quite logical to expect that humans could engage in space travel. Now, our space dreams in the 21st century are only limited by our fears. We will ultimately overcome the majority of obstacles that currently keep us from going to the planets and out into the galaxy itself.

The point?

Thursday, February 8, 2018

American Sharia? Facing the Dangerous Rise of Theocracy for Christ's Sake

By Richard Kent Matthews - Coach | Author | Speaker

US Constitution or Levitical Law? 

According to the Radical Religious Right, freedom of religion is not a good thing, not even guaranteed under the US Constitution, unless you're Chrisitian. If this scares you, it should.

The dedicated Far Right Christian Dispensationalist fundamentalist believer says:

"If I had my way, you would not be able to do most of the things you do now. I would take away your wine, your cigarettes, your rock music, your high-heeled shoes, most of your TV and internet.

If I had my way, there would no longer be a Constitution as we have known it for these past couple of hundred years. I would replace it with Biblical law and injunctions. There are more than 600 perfectly good laws in the Book of Leviticus that would work just fine.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Ah, the Good Ol' End Times

By Richard Kent Matthews - Coach | Author | Speaker

Countdown to Armageddon? Really?

For God so loved the world?

Fundamentalist evangelical Harold Camping predicted the world's end back in 1994. When it didn't come about, he said that he had left out some important calculations from the Book of Jeremiah. The new date was set for some time in 2011. As you can see, we’re still here.

Since at least the 1840s (and from my research, even as far back as the 4th and 5th centuries), screamy ‘fire and brimstone’ evangelical types have been predicting the end of the world by calculating various trails of clues in both the Old and New Testaments. They have always gotten it wrong and then made some kind of excuse that they had simply miscalculated, that further checking revealed a still future date, but this time, it was on target.

And here we remain, intact, and still sinning. But wait, there's more...

So, get this, people. No god is going to destroy the world--ever. We might, but no god will. We might bring all life to an end on old Mother Earth simply by being so greedy and stupid that we ruin the water, the air, the land, and even the upper atmosphere with our pollution, our denuding of the forests and grasslands, our killing off species after species, our over-consumption.

Until one day, we wake up and we have nothing left to destroy. That's all she wrote. We're history.

It doesn't have to be that way. Each of us has the capacity to change, right where we are. Eat less, waste less, use less gas, electricity, paper, plastic. Open the mind and the heart. Become aware of yourself as part of the problem so that you can become part of the solution.

No god is going to destroy the earth. No god needs to. It seems we're doing it for him. Stop doing that!

It's your call. Choose wisely. The world is counting on you.

End times be damned!

P.S. By the way, for those of you who believe that the biblical books of Daniel and Revelation predict the end of the world, know this: Daniel had no idea that the world was not the center of everything or how vast the universe is. His perspective from that little place in the desert was extremely limited. And John the Revelator was angry at the Romans and even blamed St. Paul for tossing the Jewish messianic ‘Christ’ movement to the Gentile ‘dogs.’ His diatribe was directed at them, not us. He died a very unhappy and unsuccessful prophet, locked up on Patmos, hallucinating his way into the history books.

Comments always welcome!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Where, Exactly, Do Evil Spirits Come From?

By Richard Kent Matthews - Coach | Author | Speaker

Image result for evil spirits free clip art


So, you have been led to believe that evil spirits come from the devil. Guess again. They come directly from the Jewish/Christian/Muslim god himself. Let's check out the Old Testament:
  • Judges: God sends an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem;
  • 1 Samuel: God sends an evil spirit to Saul so that he has a mental breakdown;
  • 1 Samuel: God makes the evil spirit leave Saul after David plays his harp;
  • 1 Samuel: God sends another evil spirit to Saul, causing him to prophesy;
  • 1 Samuel: God’s evil spirit hangs out with Saul while he has a javelin in his hand and David plays with his hand;
  • 1 Kings: God sends lying spirits to prophets so that they speak evil; and
  • 2 Chronicles: God sends lying spirits to prophets so that they speak evil.
You just can't make this kind of stuff up. No matter how you slice it, evil is a creation of the Biblical god. And that includes the creation of the devil himself, who, by the way, was God's right hand man for much of the time.

Now, you can continue to believe that evil is a separate force from good. But, as you can see from the above set of scriptural passages, the so-called good god of the Bible is the very one who brought evil into existence.

Before you think I am actually being critical here, understand this: Good cannot exist without evil, and vice versa. They complement each other. You can only recognize good because evil exists. Nothing more, nothing less. You are as blind in all light as you are in all dark. The contrast is essential for survival itself.

The universe is created in a way the brings all opposites into play. Light vs. dark; up vs. down; in vs. out. You get the picture. Good and evil are no different. One needs the other. God needs the devil, at least in the minds of those who think God is distinct and separate (read "above") from the rest of the Cosmos.

In the final analysis, evil is actually a blessing. It is the only way you can see the good. More important, it's the only way you can learn to PRACTICE the good. You are the final arbiter. You must make the choice. If evil flourishes in the world, it isn't because of the devil. It's because of you. And me. And those who will not see.

You can be superstitious, or you can wake up. Your choice.

"You must be the change you would see in the world." Gandhi

Comments always welcome.